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Friday, June 29, 2012

iPads in Education: 10 Interesting Uses of the iPad for the Classroom

iPad is changing education for a few reasons:
  • Student Engagement.  Students love using iPads because they cater to their attention span and love for interaction with technology.
  • Cost. The upfront cost may be hefty, but with all of the free apps and discounted textbooks, they are well worth the price. Compare the price of an iPad to a laptop computer.
  • Versatility. With new apps coming out everyday, the opportunities for using an iPad are endless and always growing.
Here are 10 Interesting Uses of the iPad in Education:

1. Textbooks on iPad. Textbooks cost schools a lot of money.  iPads for the classroom does as well, but the benefit is that eBooks are so much more practical than ordering a new set of text books every few years, paying for shipping and having students carry books back and forth.

Many eBooks are available for free if they have passed into the public domain.

2. Engage groups of students. A cool piece of technology like the iPad has the power to unite groups of students around a task. You can have prizes for students who get the furthest in an educational game (see number 6) or assign group projects on the iPad.

3. Digitize your library catalog. This will encourage students to check out books and even suggest books to check out.  iPads also cost a lot less and can do a lot more than traditional computers used for the same purpose.

4. iPad Photography: With a powerful camera and video camera built-in, the iPad is an awesome tool for teachers trying to inspire creativity in their students.  You are able to touch up a photo and edit video with an iPad.

Introduce your students to popular photography techniques through their iPad.  This is something useful in the real world that students will love to do! Encourage them to do their very best work by having a contest with a prize for the best photo or video project.

5. Engage students through social media.  Twitter and Facebook are the enemy of some teachers because they are a great distraction.  But some teachers have found harnessing the power of tweets and Facebook posts can actually help the learning process by fostering education related tweets and interactions with classmates.

6. Games!  Games are another powerful way to engage students and have them learn--while having fun!

There are so many great educational games available today to teach all sorts of subjects: math, reading comprehension, history, a foreign language, programming, etc.  These games can take the addicting nature of some games and get students hooked on learning and exercising their brain!

Use student's gaming habits as an opportunity to learn as well.  Games subliminally teach some amazing skills: team strategy, critical thinking skills, resource management, and many others.

This teaches students to think critically even at home when they are gaming!

7. Blogging/Writing.  Writing is an invaluable skill in today's professional environment.  It is an essential communication means that will only become more important in a world increasingly bombarded with information because only the best content gets noticed.

Good writing stands out.  There are many apps available that can aid students in developing their writing and blogging skills:

The internet has a lot of great
free resources for teaching literacy.
8. Help students become literate. Engaging students with "cool technology" will help spur on their learning and make it more interactive.  There are many great iPad apps for reading and learning to read like the one below:

9. Language Learning.
The iPad is a powerful and motivating tool to learn a new language. The iPad is perfectly suited to teach reading, writing, and listening skills.  They are also able to record their voices and hear their progress.

10. Teach and learn music. Technology is revolutionizing the way students learn instruments.  iPad apps with instrument tutorials can save hundreds on private lessons and spur students to learn at a faster rate than they normally would.

While nothing beats learning on the real instrument, iPads can be an invaluable tool in learning to play an instrument.  This video shows a small orchestra playing instruments together:

What are your favorite uses of the iPad in the classroom?  Share it with us in a comment!

Brought to you by AmpliVox Sound Systems.  Our line of professional grade portable PA systems and lecterns and podiums are compatible with iPads, iPhones, and any other external device with a standard headphone jack.

Other Great Links:
The Best School Lecterns and Podiums
The Best School PA Systems
Ampli Blog: Top 10 Reasons to Integrate Technology in the Classroom
Ampli Blog: Top 10 Classroom Management Tips for Teachers
Ampli Blog: 15 Brilliant Albert Einstein Quotes on Education
ZDnet: 50 Resources for iPad use in the classroom
Images courtesy of Creative Commons: anitakhart Gustavo Devito, EG Focus, 24oranges.nl, Flickering Brad, David Ortez, gflinch, Johan Larsson, NASA Goddard Photo and Video, Barrett.discovery, gretchichil.